It's come to my attention over the last 6 months that there is a real misconception of boudoir and what it means and what it is...
Baseline... Boudoir is a tease.
Boudoir is creating an action or "look" that is IMPLIED sexuality. It's a sexual tease while only looking a certain way. Funnily enough, you don't have to be sexual in your actions to create the boudoir "look". But boudoir is much more than just popping into a "sexy" outfit or lingerie.... it does not create boudoir imagery by simply putting on lingerie or being nude.
So I thought I'd do a wee article in order to help people see this and redefine their thinking about the different genres. As well as see the difference.
My cover image and first article image with the cake (of Miss Krysta) are both boudoir. There is an implied action and sexual suggestion... this is why I love the food themed shoots... there's always that question of a "mess that needs cleaning"! Her bits are covered, everything is still pretty "clean" and leaves a lot to the imagination. If you aren't leaving anything to the imagination... well, that's erotica. Imagine the first image (below) but without lingerie and without the cake... that's erotica.
Ridiculous Dictionary Definitions...
Boudoir photography - A photographic style featuring intimate, sensual, romantic, and sometimes erotic images of its subjects in a photographic studio, bedroom or private dressing room environment, primarily intended for the private enjoyment of the subjects and their romantic partners.
Glamour Photography - Glamour photography is a genre of photography in which the subjects are portrayed in erotic poses ranging from fully clothed to nude. The term may be a euphemism for erotic photography. For glamour models, body shape and size are directly related to success
Erotic photography - A style of art photography of an erotic, sexually suggestive or sexually provocative nature
You can see why it's so confusing, eh?
And that's why it's driven by opinion. Coz no one actually knows what the fucks going on.
But... there's also this to think about.... My opinion (which is shared btw)
Glamour - studio portraiture where it's pretty much just a nice portrait in lingerie and no implied sexuality or action. This seems to be the majority of what people advertise as boudoir, just trying to get within social media guidelines and "ease" people into the genre. It's a marketing ploy to suck people to look at their websites, really.
Boudoir - sexy and intimate without showing ya bits. WAY more than just a pretty headshot (I'm thinking of you, Glamour).
I think of boudoir as glamour, but with implied action.
Erotic portraits - well, anything goes. This is extremely UNCENSORED and can even depict actual porn... like actual penetration and lots of in your face nudity. Mostly this genre is known as soft porn but it can go further.
Now that sounds much more simple and easy to clarify, doesn't it?
The image above of Kat in the "clouds"?
*clouds is loose... it's just pillow stuffing. Points for creativity and mess. Coz I love mess.
I would actually call that Glamour. Yeah, it's a good, hot portrait, but there's no real implications or actions. It's extremely easy to mix the two genres of Glamour and Boudoir in a photoshoot. But what you don't want to do is accidentally cross from glamour or boudoir to erotica... You need to know your own boundaries with erotica. Photographer, client and model each need to communicate and set boundaries before a photoshoot where erotica and nudity could be portrayed. Or even if there's a slight chance. This is why I ask if clients or models could make a "wish list" for shots they'd like to try out, or really like the look of. That shows me their boundaries and what they want from the session.
Yes... that's boudoir. No bits or bobbles and it's all implied action. You wouldn't see people doing that in a glamour studio! Seems to be all about the wings with glamour photographers at the moment ;) hahahaha not that I've got anything against wings, I just think they need to be done a certain way. The way American and Canadian Boudoir photographers do them. Powerful, suggestive and much like Bonita's champagne images... minus the alcohol and plus the wings.... big flowy wings that drape down and help to emphasize curves. Best wings in NZ I've seen so far belong to Gemma V (@boudoirbygemmav). If you've seen another boudoir 'tog using props (that you love... or even hate 🤫) I would love to know your thoughts!
So, you've just seen the last 3 images. Amy in the coat, Poppy in the kitchen, and Zoe in the purple set... which is boudoir and which is glamour?
Love to see what you think!